Michael Owen has labelled Alex Ferguson ‘absolutely phenomenal’ following the announcement that the Manchester United manager is retiring.
The former England international won his only Premier League title under the stewardship of the 71-year-old and said Ferguson is possibly the best manager to ever grace the game.
“What can you say – he’s just an absolutely phenomenal manager. One of the best, if not the best the world has ever seen,” he said.
“His list of honours is phenomenal and to be able to stand here and say I played underneath him for three years is pretty special. A remarkable man. Not just a remarkable manager but a remarkable man as well.”
Ferguson won 38 trophies in his 26 years in Manchester, including two UEFA Champions League crowns and 13 Premier League titles.
And Owen, who scored 17 times in his three seasons with Ferguson, cited his former manager’s adaptability as the key to his unprecedented success.
“He’s always rolled with the times, he’s been at Man United for a quarter of a century and have to change your methods,” he said.
“Just like a race horse trainer or anything, things evolve and for him to be the best and stood the test of time and evolve with the times, it’s just a phenomenal achievement.
“I’m very proud to have played under him and he’s going to leave a massive hole in football.”
Alongside Owen, a raft Ferguson’s former players have taken to social media to express their gratitude to Ferguson.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who won FIFA World Player of the Year while at United in 2008, said on Twitter: “Thanks for everything, boss.”
And former England captain David Beckham, who spent a decade with Ferguson before leaving for Real Madrid, said on Facebook: “I am truly honoured to have been guided by the greatest manager in football and to have had the career that I had under him.
“Without him I would never have achieved what I have done.”